Incidence and Pattern of Bear Maul Injuries in Mount Abu
Background: Bears typically compete directly with humans for space, food, security and cover Frequent numbers of casualties with bear maul injuries observed in our hospital which is located in the Sloth Bear sanctuary of Arravali range, prompted us to undertake the study of incidence & pattern of such injuries in our department.
Materials and Method: This study was both retrospective and prospective covering a period from 2001 to 2018. The pattern of bear maul injuries in term of time, location, provocation, animal/human group behavior and the injury type/distribution were recorded and analyzed.
Results: Only a total of 27 cases were registered in 17 years. All the injuries were caused by Sloth Bears alone. Most of the patients were middle aged to elders. In our study, males were victimized more (74.1%) than females (25.9%). Most of the incidents (66.7%) occurred in early morning time. In our observation 51.9% of accidents happened in croplands and 25.9% in forest.
Bear attacks were unprovoked in 81.5% cases.. The face and head were injured in 74.07% cases followed by trunk and upper limb in 70.37% cases. Abdomen and lower limbs were injured in 37% cases. In spite of devastating injuries,mortality was 0 in our study.
Conclusion: The relatively low incidence of bear attack in the region of Mount Abu may be an indication of a harmonious man-animal existence. Eliminating the need for open defecation and collection of fire wood by the tribal population can go a long way in further improving the man-animal coexistence equilibrium
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